Thank you for calling Hell, er, IT Support

MatrixITGoogleThere’s one thing that I dread more than anything else in my life lately.  That one thing is the phone call from the Father-In-Law (FIL) asking me to setup his new computer with the added detail that he “won’t open the box until I get there” which translates into “I’m going to stand behind you the whole time.”  I won’t tell you what he did other than I’m a damn good translator.

Some background first….  His current computer is a Dell tower with a pre-Core Intel processor that followed the Pentium II, III, 4; known as a Pentium V.  It has only 4B of pieced together RAM, an upgraded 1TB hard drive (previous hell), and came with XP that was upgraded to Vista then upgraded to 7.  To describe this machine as slow technically is an understatement as it literally takes over 15 minutes to be marginally useful.  The hard drive is thrashed constantly regardless of it being used or not as the OS most likely has remenants of three different OS’s over the last 12 years.  The new computer is a Core i7, 12GB RAM and a 2TB hard drive with a brand spanking new version of Windows 10.

Having backed up his 108GB’s of music, pictures, documents (all in one folder, no sub-folders), etc. to an external hard drive that prompted the multiple asked question “What is that?” and my response being “It’s an external hard drive.”  He would think for a few moments and then respond “It’s so small, I think I need one too.”  As the files were backing up, I started taking review of the applications that were installed.  Quickly running through the list and identifying only a handful I needed to migrate settings from, that’s where the problems started.

The one program that I got a lot of push back on was the installed and running version of Norton Security Suite.  He had just renewed for another year (377 days left on the subscription) and wanted it on his new computer.  Anyone that is even a marginal computer user realizes these security suites are a waste of money when there are so many free and much more capable applications out there that do the same thing.  Here’s the conversation, verbatim, that we had:

Me:  You don’t need Norton on Windows 10, there are free tools that are much better.
FIL:  But I paid for Norton, I want it installed.
Me:  All it does it look fancy and scan your files constantly drawing resources and making things slower.
FIL:  But I paid for Norton, I want it installed.
Me:  I’d just get your money back, its not worth paying for.
FIL:  But I paid for Norton, I want it installed.

At this point, I gave up as I wasn’t being heard.  Whatever, I took down the key and noted the site that I needed to download the shitty software.  I didn’t get it, I was being asked to help and that’s what I was doing, yet I was getting push back even when I was giving an opportunity to save $65/year on a piece of shit software program.  I moved on having conceded to the stubborn FIL.

We moved onto the large music library and was asked to install iTunes.  I quickly foresaw how this was going to go having been an outspoken and avid opponent to anything Apple or Apple related.  His theory, “iPhone requires iTunes”.  My theory, “iPhone sucks”.  Knowing this man for over 15 years, he’s an Apple fan boy, so I didn’t try to convince him to use anything else.  Here’s the conversation:

Me:  I got iTunes installed, its not seeing all your music.
FIL:  It looks different, its not what I’m used to.
Me:  It’s the Windows 10 version of iTunes, its going to look different.
FIL:  Let me sit down.
Me:  I’m not done getting iTunes to see all your music.
FIL:  Let me sit down, I can get it working…..  why does it look different?
Me:  I’m going to get some coffee.

I realized at this point that it was now almost 5pm and I wanted dinner.  I popped my head back into the office and said I’m leaving and wished him good luck.  I’m not even sure that he heard me as he didn’t turn around.  I’ve since received 5 text messages from him asking where his files are, where his music is, where the bookmark or the random site he had to get onto was, etc.

I turned off my phone.